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Ecuador constitutional court picks president supporter as new head

[JURIST] Judges on Ecuador's new Constitutional Tribunal [official website] Tuesday selected Patricio Pazmino Freire, a supporter of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa [official website, in Spanish; personal website], to head the court. The new membership of the tribunal, elected [Prensa Latina report] last week by the pro-Correan Ecuadorean Congress [official website, in Spanish], is expected to fall in line with Correa's policies. In April, Congress dismissed the prior constitutional tribunal judges after they ordered the reinstatement of 50 lawmakers [JURIST report] who were dismissed [JURIST report] in February by the country's electoral tribunal for allegedly interfering in a planned referendum on constitutional reform.

Correa now has effective control of all three branches of Ecuador's government and has popular momentum after voters in April overwhelming supported [JURIST report] his call for convening a constitutional assembly to rewrite the constitution of Ecuador [JURIST news archive]. Candidates for the constitutional assembly will begin campaigning in mid-August, and elections are slated for September 30. Dow Jones Newswire has more.

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